Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Rediscovering ‘Angel’ (US 1984 – 92 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 26, 2015

A surprise hit for the independent New World Pictures, ‘Angel’ was an entertaining drama-cum-thriller, mixing humour with horror while incorporating characters with hearts of gold, amongst all the seedy goings-on.

After being deserted by her parents, and to help pay for her private schooling, 15 year old Grade ‘A’ student Molly Stewart (Donna Wilkes) spends her nights prowling Sunset Blvd as prostitute ‘Angel’. There she befriends various oddballs including a protective transvestite (Dick Shawn) and a once revered western stuntman (Rory Calhoun). These already violent streets are being made worse by a knife-wielding serial killer intent of ridding the town of …

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The Miracle Worker – Rediscovering ‘Sitting Pretty’ (US 1948 – 84 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 23, 2015

A wonderful domestic comedy that introduced the movie-going public to the eccentric Mr Belvedere, ‘Sitting Pretty’ was a huge success and gave the already established Clifton Webb a newfound popularity and a fresh audience, as the seemingly master-of-all-trades with his own inimitable style.

Juggling a busy life and three disorderly young children, suburban couple Harry and Tacey King (Robert Young and Maureen O’Hara) place an ad in the paper for a live-in babysitter. When the elderly self-styled genius Lynn Belvedere (Clifton Webb) replies and is reluctantly given the position, his unconventional ways soon win the family over, unaware to them that …

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Desperate Measures – Rediscovering ‘De Kassière’ / ‘Lily Was Here’ (Netherlands 1989 – 112 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 17, 2015

Using a tried and tested formula, the 1989 adult Dutch drama ‘Lily Was Here’ is a pretty good rain-soaked tale of despair, featuring a strong performance by an unknown actress, as a pregnant teen who runs away from home and into a life of crime.

Bored with her mundane job and interfering family, Lily’s (Marion van Thijn) life takes a tragic turn when her American soldier boyfriend is murdered by a couple of punks. Pregnant with his child, Lily moves out of home and with no money to support herself and her imminent child, she turns to crime, first by shoplifting, …

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Boots, Bracelets & Bathtubs – Remembering ‘Blind Terror’ (UK 1971 – 89 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 12, 2015

Creepy thrillers featuring defenceless blind women have usually made for a thrilling fright-flick. From the 1967 Audrey Hepburn starrer ‘Wait Until Dark’ to the obscure British mystery ‘Witness in the Dark’ (’59), the main hook is usually enough to grab the attention as we root for the vulnerable protagonist. Another good example of its type is Richard Fleischer’s rural set creep-fest ‘Blind Terror’, a minor yet highly watchable entry in the genre.

After losing her eyesight in a horse riding accident, the resilient Sarah (Mia Farrow) returns to the English countryside farm of her youth, to stay with her relatives. While …

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Mission Impossible – Rediscovering ‘The Story of Qiu Ju’ (China 1992 – 100 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 08, 2015
Mission Impossible – Rediscovering ‘The Story of Qiu Ju’ (China 1992 – 100 mins)

A gripping drama of one person’s dogged determination in the pursuit of justice, the excellent Chinese picture ‘The Story of Qiu Ju’ may have an absurd synopsis, but it’s very easy to follow, and the plot could not be simpler.

When her labourer husband is kicked in the groin by the village leader (after a verbal misunderstanding), his heavily pregnant wife seeks an apology from the local Government. With no help locally, she journey’s to the city where she tries to beat the red tape of various bureaucratic establishments. From district to city offices, and then to the courts, Qiu Ju …

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Traumatised Teens & a Spoilt Spouse – Remembering Heather Sears (1935–1994)

Remember ‐ November 02, 2015

Petite and pretty with a mass of talent, the quiet and often beguiling Heather Sears had the power to shine on both stage and screen. And although she only appeared in 10 movies in her long (if sporadic) career, she managed to inject her characters with genuine warmth and emotion, leaving a haunting impression on many who saw her.

Sears was born on September 28th 1935, and, after attending drama school in London, won a contract with Romulus Films where she was mentored by director Jack Clayton. After minor bit parts in the 1955 Jack Hawkins comedy ‘Touch and Go’ and …

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A Deadly Comeback – Rediscovering ‘Madhouse’ (UK 1974 – 89 mins)

Rediscover ‐ October 27, 2015

A pretty good tale of jealousy and revenge from low-budget specialists American International Pictures, ‘Madhouse’ was one of their better productions, involving a plot which allowed its lead actor to again relish the role of playing a once-popular horror star who, after years in the wilderness, makes a rather ‘deadly’ comeback.

Famed Hollywood actor Paul Coombes (Vincent Price) announces the return of his recurring character Dr. Death, as well as his upcoming marriage to a sexy blonde ingénue. The news of his nuptials doesn’t go down well with his producer friend Oliver Quayle (Robert Quarry) and old flame Faye Carstairs (Adrienne …

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Overbearing Mothers & A Mother Fixation – Rediscovering ‘No Way to Treat a Lady’ (US 1968 – 108 mins)

Rediscover ‐ October 22, 2015

A delicious slice of murder and mirth, the superb black comedy ‘No Way to Treat a Lady’ was an actor’s dream that gave Rod Steiger an opportunity to create multiple characters, in helping to tell the story of a serial killer who dons various disguises before murdering a series of lonely middle-aged women.

Theater owner and would-be star Christopher Gill (Rod Steiger) is leading a double life. When not on stage, the mother-fixated wannabe is wandering around New York killing a number of elderly women. Assigned to the case of catching the crazed killer is Morris Brummel (George Segal), a Jewish …

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Pay to the Bearer – Rediscovering ‘Cops and Robbers’ (US 1973 – 89 mins)

Rediscover ‐ October 19, 2015

An overlooked caper from the busy 70’s, ‘Cops and Robbers’ may be a minor entry in the crime genre but it’s never boring, and the enthusiastic leads make it far more entertaining than it could have been.

Overworked and underpaid New York cops Tom and Joe (Cliff Gorman & Joseph Bologna) come up with a plan to steal $10 million in Bearer bonds, sell them to a local mobster (John P. Ryan), and then retire to a sunny climate. They choose the day of a ticker-tape parade to aide their diversion, while they successfully rob a Wall Street firm of their …

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Westerns, Wino’s & Wannabe’s – Anne Baxter – (1923 – 1985)

Rewind ‐ October 15, 2015

Pretty, with dark hair, brown eyes and a smoky voice, Anne Baxter had a wholesome beauty that enabled her to excel at portraying rather timid or nervous characters. But she could also use this persona to hide an inner ‘bad girl’, and it was this side of her that gave Anne her biggest successes.

Born in Indiana on May 7th 1923, Anne moved with her family to New York when she was in her early teens, and before long was acting on Broadway, receiving rave reviews from even the harshest of critics. By 1940 when aged just 17, Baxter got a …

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